Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow — enough already

The New Year is beginning with a light fluffy snowfall across much of the U.S. Northeast, including Boston and New York, that will give way to the coldest temperatures so far this season.

To the west, Chicago was facing as much as 8 inches of snow through this afternoon, according to the weather service. A winter storm advisory was issued from northern Iowa to Ohio.

Two systems are forecast to merge by tomorrow, bringing 6 inches to 12 inches of snow to New York and more than a foot to Boston, said Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist for forecaster AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Snowfall will probably start between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. tomorrow in New York and continue the next day, Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc., said.

“The worst of it for New York will be the Thursday ride home,” Carolan said.

The combined systems will stretch from the upper part of the Mid-Atlantic region to southern New England, the AccuWeather forecast showed. Snow will arrive in Boston after New York.

“The storm will affect more than 70 million people in the Midwest and the Northeast combined and could have a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations,” Sosnowski wrote on AccuWeather's website. “People should be prepared for flight delays and cancellations because of direct and indirect impacts from the far-reaching storm.”

A hazardous weather outlook warning of snow later in the week has been issued for much of Pennsylvania through New York and into New England, according to the National Weather Service. The agency said parts of New York could get as much as 8 inches, with a “bitter cold” settling over the northern tier of the U.S. today.

There had been some disagreement over the intensity of the storm among computer models earlier in the week, Carolan said. A model popular in Europe called for a heavy snowfall, then backed away from that.

The high Jan. 3 in New York will be 16 degrees, according to AccuWeather. Boston might not get above 14, while dropping below zero for the day's low.

The European forecast models are “suggesting cold intensities in the Midwest to East Coast not seen for several years,” Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a note to clients yesterday.


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